Author and farmer looking for a better way for the family

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Shifting gears and changing the course of life can be intimidating, but for a farmer in Minnesota, the change became a blessing for his family, along with a bigger mission, ministry, and book.

In a recent episode of TAB Media’s ‘Amplify: Conversations about Life and Faith’ podcast, host Maggie Evans spoke to author, computer programmer and farmer Rory Groves about her experience with what he calls “Family-centered economies”.

Evans asked Groves what motivated him to look away from his full-time job and embrace a different lifestyle, and eventually started farming.

“I received training as a computer scientist,” he said. “I basically grew up around technology and loved it, and always wanted to be in it. I spent the first 20 years of my career as a computer programmer and I created software and everything high-tech.

But Groves said he realized that the things he created would become stale within a few years, and if he didn’t continue to train as a professional, he would be stale, too.

“I wasn’t really building anything that I could pass on to my kids,” he explained. “Any skills I had to teach them would definitely be out of date by the time they could use them in the world.

“I didn’t want to just sue a paycheck. I wanted to find out if there was a profession I could work in and get involved in that would involve my family.

Sustainable research

In his research, Groves came across the concept of a family-centered economy, which he described as fulfilling and sustainable. This also led to his book, “Sustainable Businesses: Family-Centered Economies That Have Withstood the Test of Time”.

Groves said he found plenty of options available for families looking for this kind of lifestyle.

“It really resonated with me…. There are possibilities for families to work together. Not only that. It is truly the best way to transmit one’s faith, values ​​and culture and to build truly lasting relationships with one’s families.

“There are many viable family economies that… have been around for many centuries,” Groves said. “Often, families are involved in multiple vocations. They had maybe three, four or five different sources of income that made up the family economy.

But Groves made it clear that he didn’t get it all, and he and his family are still experimenting.

“I’m still a part-time IT consultant, but we’re also running a lot of events on our farm that revolve around this whole concept of building family economies, family ownership skills, introducing people to the concepts of farm life. “

The educational farm

Groves, his wife Becca, and their children live on what they call a “learning farm” in southern Minnesota. Among other things, they raise livestock and food for their families.

“We love to share everything we learn here,” he said. “There is so much richness in this life.

Groves noted that the changes they made along the way were minimal.

“I didn’t just quit my job and move to a farm somewhere and see what happened. It was definitely small steps, ”he explained.

“This concept of families working together is… quite foreign to our time,” Groves admitted. “Since the industrial revolution, we have continued to separate instead of working together. It is a relatively new phenomenon in history. [G]for thousands of years, it was unthinkable. The family had to work together to survive.

“Normal and durable”

Groves believes his concept is a normal, enduring model that God intended for the family.

“We go back to Genesis. You know Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel. He created them in the garden to share a common vision. To work the land together, ”said Groves. “The shift in mindset comes when you can see that God… has united you in a unique way to accomplish something that no other family on Earth could do and to begin to think of as one unit. “

Passing on a strong work ethic to her children is a priority for Groves.

“Trying to go through 16 years of education and come out and be equipped to endure in a work environment… it’s a very difficult thing to convey,” he said. “You have to cultivate a work ethic from an early age. I can teach them what I see God doing in the garden. We talk about what is happening in the world. There are so many ways we can pass our faith on in the context of work.

Of his book, Groves said, “I started looking at all possible historical trades and decided to narrow it down to the most recent period… which would still be relevant today,” in the process of identification of 61 sustainable trades that survived the industrial revolution.

Groves said his intention was to benefit his family, but he realized how much it could benefit others.

“What are the ways that we can choose from different types of trades and that we can do together? “


For more information, visit www.thegrovestead.com. To listen to the full interview, visit www.thealabamabaptist.org/explore/podcasts.

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